Chase Elephant Bookends by Walter Von Nessen For Sale
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Chase Elephant Bookends by Walter Von Nessen

About

Chase nickel-plated brass elephant bookends. Unusual finish with satin nickel body and polished nickel head and trunk. Important design by famous Industrial Design Pioneer Walter Von Nessen who worked for Chase and designed many of the company’s most important streamline Art Deco objects of period. These were American made using the most forward thinking technology at the time. Utilizing hand polished nickel and brass, these are in amazing restored condition and have the famous Chase mark. Made circa 1931. Chase Brass and Copper company Chase entered the consumer market with a line of chrome Art Deco household items in the 1930s, created by leading designers of the day such as Russel Wright, Rockwell Kent and Walter Von Nessen. They were usually signed with the distinctive company logo of a centaur drawing a bow.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Dimensions
    H 2 in. x W 5.5 in. x D 4.5 in.H 5.08 cm x W 13.97 cm x D 11.43 cm
  • Seller Location
    Oakland, CA
  • Seller Reference Number
    2417
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
    LU87147990283
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About Walter Von Nessen (Designer)

Art Deco industrial designer Walter von Nessen is best known for his glamorous Machine Age lighting designs and for his invention of the swing-arm lamp. Von Nessen was born in Germany, where he studied under Bruno Paul at Berlin’s Kunstgewerbeschule. After World War I, he worked for the architect Peter Behrens, in Berlin. He left in 1919 for Stockholm, where he designed furniture until emigrating with his wife, Margaretta, to the United States in 1923. In 1927, the couple opened Nessen Studios in Manhattan, designing and selling sleek, modern architectural lighting.


Art Deco was both novel and exciting in the late 1920s — as, indeed, was electricity itself — and Nessen Studios was at the forefront of the movement. Electric lighting designers at the time had no direct models to follow. The shapes and silhouettes of gas lamps, lanterns and chandeliers had been influenced by those of the kerosene-, oil- and candle-lit fixtures that preceded them, which in turn were informed by the fuels they used. Electric lighting required designs that accommodated essentials of the new technology, like cords and sockets. Von Nessen and his contemporaries thus had to create fixtures that addressed these challenges and looked modern without appearing overly mechanical.


Along with industrial-design visionaries of the period like Raymond Loewy, Gilbert Rohde and Donald Deskey, von Nessen crafted a style that was emblematic of the Machine Age. He produced lamps and home accessories from spun aluminum, with smooth surfaces that evoked the polished gleam of streamlined automobiles and airplanes. And he experimented with other popular materials of the era, such as Bakelite, chrome and fiberglass. His ingenious design for the now-ubiquitous swing-arm lamp earned him a reputation as an innovator.


Von Nessen’s work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Museum, among other institutions. Designed to complement the luxurious interiors of the 1920s and ‘30s, still look fresh nearly a century later.

About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2009
Located in Oakland, CA
Associations:
20th Century Specialists
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